IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corp. said Monday it started a Phase II trial ofits genetically engineered pan-B antibody, IDEC-C2B8, in combinationwith chemotherapy for the treatment of relapsed, low-grade, B-celllymphoma.The San Diego company is conducting the trial at the same time theantibody is being studied as a single agent for the same indication.In the combination trial, patients will be given alternating cycles ofIDEC-C2B8 and chemotherapy, beginning and ending with theantibody. The addition of IDEC-C2B8 to chemotherapy is intended toextend both the quality and duration of tumor remissions, withoutadding significantly to the toxicity of chemotherapy."We believe that the addition of IDEC-C2B8 to chemotherapy mayenhance tumor remissions by harnessing the patient's own immunesystem to destroy tumor cells, including some which may have becomeresistant to chemotherapy," said Antonio Grillo-Lopez, IDEC's vicepresident of medical and regulatory affairs.The antibody attaches to the CD20 antigen, then activates a group ofproteins, leading to normal and malignant B-cell destruction, thecompany said.Initial results of the treatment of 17 lymphoma patients with multipledoses of IDEC-C2B8 as a single agent have been accepted forpresentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Dallas onMay 17. _ Jim Shrine
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